Owen Taylor, Editor, 601-992-9488
AgFax Southern Grain…
Southern Rust, Pigweeds, Insects – Welcome To June
Southern corn rust was found this week in Seminole County, Georgia, on corn at the blister stage, according to a report from Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia plant pathologist. Connect to Kemerait’s full report in our Links section.
A hodge-podge of insect species are becoming more apparent in soybeans. The list includes three-cornered alfalfa hoppers, bollworms, bean leaf beetles and even thrips. Redbanded stink bugs are gaining a little more attention in north Louisiana. Overall, treatments have been limited.
Stink bugs are still bouncing around in corn in the lower South, and some applications have been going out.
Sugarcane aphid treatments have been made in grain sorghum on what sounds like a limited basis in south Louisiana.
Wheat harvest could start in the middle to upper Midsouth as soon as it dries up. Some cutting already has gotten underway in central Alabama.
The weather remains mixed, although temperatures have significantly risen over the last week across the region. That’s helping push growth after all the cool weather in May. Parts of the South have received too much rain over the last week. Storms have kept the upper Midsouth soaked, plus tropical storm Bonnie brought heavy amounts of rain to parts of the Carolinas and into Virginia. However, portions of the South clearly need rain and soon.
In areas where less rain has fallen, herbicides weren’t activated, so pigweed is very much a concern.
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia:
“We’re dry and need rain in some areas. Where it hasn’t rained, closely scout soybeans for lesser cornstalk borers (LCSB). If you’ve burned your wheat straw before planting, that significantly elevates your risk for LCSB activity.”
Wendell Minson, Bootheel Crop Consultants, Dexter, Missouri:
“We missed the big rain that dumped all that water on Jonesboro (Arkansas) but then another system developed and parts of our area got 2 to 4 inches, with up to 10 inches in places. That was last Thursday and Friday (5/26-27), then it rained again yesterday (5/31), and now a big wad of rain has come through and it looks like it will cover about half of my territory.
“Those 10-inch totals were to our north, so all that water came through here and took out corn and soybeans in places. My growers have had a little kill from water backing into soybeans. Weed control has been pretty good where growers applied preemerge herbicides right behind the planters. Where the preemerge didn’t go out, we jumped on pigweed pretty hard and burned them back. So far, we haven’t had any jail breaks.
“Some of our MG 4.6 beans are at V3. Where growers planted early, soybeans look pretty good. We had an extended weather delay with soybean planting, and some farmers finally went back to planting again yesterday. Corn is really going to town where folks have sprayed and gotten fertilizer out, although some producers have been struggling to finish that. Corn is mostly at V7 to V8. Wheat looks really good. If it dries up soon, we’ll cut wheat next week. We treated for scab and very little is apparent.”
John Burleson, Consultant, Swan Quarter, North Carolina:
“We’ve hardly planted any full-season beans. It’s been too wet and now we’re dealing with the remnants of the tropical storm (Bonnie). We’ll be shut down for at least a week (from 5/30). Some beans were planted at the end of April, but in that same window growers were mostly putting in corn.
“Rain totals from all this have varied. Last week it rained 3 to 4 inches a mile from my house. So far, 5 to 8 inches have fallen through the area in May. Some growers were able to work along, depending on how much rain fell at a given time in their vicinity.”
Hugh Whitby, KC Consulting, Wynne, Arkansas:
“All of our beans are planted except for what we’ll have behind wheat. We’ve got nearly 3,000 acres of wheat, which I think could be cut as soon as the rain stops. We’ve had a big rain every week for the last 3 weeks. It’s pouring right now (late afternoon, 6/1) and rain is in the forecast through Saturday.
“Most of our corn has been laid by except for a little that was replanted. Nearly all of our beans have received their second shot of herbicide, so we’ve done about all we can in terms of pigweed. The rains have kept residuals working where we could make those applications. As pigweed goes, our soybeans are a whole lot better off than they were last year. Everybody realized the importance of overlaying residuals. You spray 2 weeks after planting whether or not a pigweed is actually up.”
David L. Wright, Florida Extension Agronomist, Quincy, Florida:
“In most areas our corn is tasseling, so it really needs water. Rain has varied quite a bit. Some growers benefited from popup showers, but it’s gotten dry enough in places that farmers stopped planting cotton. Some of the early, irrigated corn has been silking and tasseling for a couple of weeks, while part of our dryland corn was just planted in the last couple of weeks. Farmers in south Georgia and north Florida began picking the first of their sweet corn about 10 days ago.
“It looks like more soybeans will be planted this year and they’re mostly just going in. Some will follow small grain, and the very first of the wheat harvest started almost 2 weeks ago.
“Several growers have harvested their carinata and we’ve also been harvesting our carinata research plots. Yields have been pretty good, plus we’re learning a lot about this oil-seed crop, which is being evaluated as a source for jet fuel. We’ve had some promising results growing it on sandy soils where nutrients were provided on a regular basis in the same way growers would with other crops planted on those soils.”
Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist:
“In soybeans, we’re seeing a little more early-season defoliation than normal from bean leaf beetles. It’s not anything to be concerned about but enough feeding has occurred in places to catch my attention.
“I’ve had a few calls about three-cornered alfalfa hoppers (3CAH) on really small beans. It’s always tough to decide what to do. If plenty of 3CAH are out there, you can treat and then 3 days later find higher numbers than before the application. People wonder if the treatment failed when, in fact, it probably means 3CAH are quickly reinfesting the beans.
“You don’t want to spray too soon and then end up with 3 sprays for 3CAH. Generally, if plants are more than 10 inches high, they’re past the stage when you’d worry about 3CAH, and you need a bunch of them on a plant to justify treating, I think. If you can get a sweep net into beans smaller than 10 inches, go with a threshold of 15 3CAH per 25 sweeps. Or, consider treating if you’re finding 1 to 2 per 3 feet of row in 6-inch-tall beans. This can be a perplexing insect. Bottom line: try to ride them as long as you can.”
“Corn is all over the board. Some started tasseling a couple of weeks ago, which was about the same time the last of the corn was being planted. The bulk of it, though, is either at pre-tassel or will be in the next few days. Hail beat up some corn a month ago and strong winds last week gave some corn a noticeable lean, although I don’t think any broke off.
“Probably 90% to 95% of our soybeans have been planted. Some guys held off on more planting to wait for rain last Friday (5/27) and will start back as soon as it dries up again. If everything goes well, they’ll finish this week.”
Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist:
“Thrips have been heavy in cotton and peanuts to varying degrees and they’re also turning up on soybeans in central Alabama. In places, they’re causing some level of injury to soybeans. Folks are finding crinkled leaves on seedling plants. I would expect that some people will treat, although I haven’t heard of any applications yet.”
Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist:
“Sugarcane aphids continue to be reported in grain sorghum. I don’t know of any treatments in this part of the state but a few guys have made applications in south Louisiana. We’re finding corn earworms (CEW) in non-Bt sweet corn, so the numbers are starting to pick up. Growers with refuge corn should be aware that CEW are active.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina:
“We’re still seeing a lot of seedling injury in corn from billbugs and stink bugs. I’m thinking more has occurred than people realize, mainly because corn doesn’t get scouted as closely. We’re kind of in between any need for stink bug applications in corn, should they be necessary. If stink bugs have to be treated again, it would be when they’re moving in mass and corn is forming an ear. I’ve said before that you need to scout and don’t just go with an automatic spray or include an insecticide at tassel. Any damage would likely happen before then.”
Andy Tonos, Delta Ag Consulting, Greenville, Mississippi:
“Some of our oldest corn will be close to fully tasseled this week, while the youngest is waist- to chest-high. Pigweeds have popped up in some soybeans after we went through an extended dry spell and didn’t get rain to activate herbicides.
“In places, we’ve gone 2 to 3 weeks without rain (as of 5/31). Soybean emergence was uneven in those drier areas. Growers ran pivots where they could to bring up the rest of the beans and some farmers tried to run water down rows to finish stands. In other cases, we’re at the mercy of the weather. But we also have stands that look very good.”
Bill Brooks, Mid-South Farmers Cooperative, Alamo, Tennessee:
“We’re doing our last nitrogen sidedress in corn and already have finished up most of it. Corn looks good. Most of our soybeans are planted, I think, and we’ve made great headway. We’ve got more April-planted beans in this area than I can ever remember, and I hope we get that early-planting yield bump.
“We’re beginning to fight pigweed. This was the first county in the state where PPO-resistant pigweed was confirmed, so we’re trying to get our over-the-top preemerge out before we see pigweed, especially in our Roundup Ready soybeans. We do have a bullet left to shoot in LibertyLink beans, but in either case we don’t want to see a single pigweed in soybeans.
“Wheat is starting to turn and some may be cut late this week but certainly in 7 to 10 days (from 5/31). We have really good moisture from a couple of rains last week that totaled 2 inches across a big part of our area. It’s still wet in places and most of the ground left to plant is in bottoms. Some of that also was wet before last week’s rain, so it will take time to finish up those last fields.”
Joe Townsend, Ind. Consultant, Coahoma, Mississippi:
“Our oldest corn is at pre-tassel and looks really good. Any insects are below threshold. Soybeans are starting to look good and our oldest are in the second week of flowering. About 70% of our soybean acreage has been planted (as of 5/31).”
“Corn is tasseling or is a little past that in places. Beans range from just emerging to R3, and farmers are spot-replanting in places. Later this week I’ll recheck 100 to 150 acres of soybeans where we’ve had a few bollworms and redbanded stink bugs.
“We’re expecting more pigweed pressure. The pre herbicide played out on soybeans and every time we think we can jump in the field with another shot, it rains again. Some of these are LibertyLink beans, so they’ll get 2 rounds of Liberty and then we’ll hoe the survivors. One producer has been able to put out the first shot, so far.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia:
“Our corn is well into pollination. We are having to spray some stink bugs in quite a few places and also are finding sporadic, scattered northern corn leaf blight but nothing that would warrant a fungicide yet. Otherwise, disease pressure is light. Our MG IV soybeans look great and are growing well. We finished the last herbicide on them late last week. Three-cornered alfalfa hoppers got heavy enough that we had to treat.”
Trey Bullock, Bullock’s Ag Consulting, Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
“Our soybeans are mostly just emerging. Corn ranges from V2 to roasting ears. Our dryland corn, I’m afraid, is about done due to lack of rain. Although most of our corn is irrigated, we have some non-irrigated fields this year south of Hattiesburg that – if not for the herbicides already applied – should be plowed up and planted in soybeans.”
Scott Gifford, Gifford Crop Consulting, Manila, Arkansas:
“Our corn and soybeans have really come on compared to cotton and rice, which are both running at least a week behind. In our March-planted beans we’re seeing a bloom here and there. Corn kind of sat there with that run of cool, wet weather, but in the last week it’s turned around and started growing.”
Brad Smith, Crop Production Services, Selma, Alabama:
“I’ve been amazed at how well corn has been holding up, considering how little rain we’ve had this month. We could really use a good, general rain this week, although the forecast doesn’t look good for it. Corn planted on February 27 was showing yellow silks and a few brown ones late last week, so we need rain to fill it out. A little tropical corn for silage was planted last week.
“Soybean planting has stopped because soils got too dry, but we’re probably 85% planted. We only have a small amount of wheat, so doublecrop beans will be limited. The first wheat harvest that I’m aware of started today (5/30). We’re also finding Bermudagrass stem maggots in some of our hay.”
Bob Griffin, Griffin Ag Consulting, Jonesboro, Arkansas:
“Our oldest corn was at V8 late last week. We’ll start pre-tassel applications in 7 to 10 days (from 5/30). We’ve just about finished herbicides on the youngest corn. No disease or pests in soybeans. Our oldest are at R4, and that’s just a field or two we were able to plant in March. Fungicides have gone out on those and we’ll apply fungicides on another 1,000 acres next week. Farmers cut wheat samples last week but moisture was still too high. I feel like some will be cut this week, weather permitting, although rain is in the forecast every day.”
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